Marie Menken made several films inspired by and starring artists she knew, such as Visual Variations on Noguchi (1945) and Arabesque for Kenneth Anger (1961). According to Warhol’s memoir Popism: The Warhol Sixties (written with Pat Hackett), in 1963 Warhol was brought by his friend Charles Henri Ford to a party hosted by Menken and her husband Willard Maas at the couple’s apartment in Brooklyn Heights. Warhol and Menken hit it off immediately and he would go on to cast her as an actress in his films, such as Chelsea Girls and The Life of Juanita Castro.
Close to the same time, Warhol was also introduced to Gerard Malanga, who would become Warhol’s main art assistant throughout the ’60s and who is featured prominently in this short film. In Popism, Warhol describes Menken and Maas as “sort of godparents” to Malanga.
Andy Warhol presents